Board

Wil-Dog Abers, Director

Wil-Dog Abers is a three-time Grammy-winning musician, bass player,
composer, and producer. An LA native who grew up in the MacArthur Park
area, Wil-Dog played one of his first live shows in the park’s bandshell
at age 11. Shaped by periods of homelessness as a young person and years
of struggle with addiction, Wil-Dog found respite in youth activist
spaces like Radiotron, and went on to help start the Peace & Justice
Center in 1995. Simultaneously, he founded the band Ozomatli, which has
released several chart-topping albums, performed in 65 countries, and
pushed musical and political boundaries for over 25 years.

Iris Alonzo

Iris is a fourth generation Angeleno and Co-Founder and Creative
Director of EVERYBODY.WORLD, a clothing brand focused on recycled and
biodegradable textiles, completely made in Los Angeles. Iris previously
spent 11 years as the Global Creative Director of American Apparel. She
is also a 12-year resident of MacArthur Park and the co-founder of
MacArthur Park Preservation Society, dedicated to documenting,
celebrating and protecting the diverse culture in Westlake.

Carmelo Alvarez, Director

Carmelo has been a youth and culture advocate since 1978. After dancing
and touring as Tap/Ragtime dancer and studying theater at LA Inner City
Cultural Arts Center, Carmelo was inspired to open cultural centers for
communities lacking safe creative spaces to develop and showcase
artistic talents. Throughout his career, Carmelo has opened numerous
cultural spaces and has lead various cultural/environmental/social
justice projects. Most notable centers are Youth Break Center, Inc. aka
Radiotron, the first Westcoast Hip Hop youth center, Peace and Justice
Center, and the Luna Sol Cafe one of the first Southwest/Mexican
vegan/vegetarian cafe run by poets, musicians, and activist, Eagle Rock
Art Center and Casa Del Tunel in Tijuana Mexico.

James Bourne, Secretary

James Bourne is a native Angeleno with a deep love for music and a
passion for all things Los Angeles. He believes in the power of music
to bring people together, build and connect communities, and contribute
to a more durable and culturally connected civic identity for Los Angeles.
James is a Senior Vice President at Abernathy MacGregor, a strategic
communications advisory firm providing communications, engagement
and advocacy expertise that helps clients build and preserve value, seize
opportunities and solve problems in today’s highly complex, dynamic and
interconnected world. James lives in downtown LA’s Historic Core with
his boyfriend Felipe and their Welsh Terrier Tycho.

Gregory Butler, Director

Gregory is the founder and CEO of the video engagement platform ZuCasa,
and a technology & intellectual property expert who has served in leadership
roles at multiple start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Alongside his business
roles, he has worked in varying capacities on over 65 records, as well as
creating music for TV series like Project Runway, Top Chef and Jim Henson
Creature Shop Challenge.

Aurora Colindres, Director

Aurora Colindres is the Director of Development for CHIRLA (Coalition
for Humane Immigrant Rights). Her 15-year fundraising career includes
Director of Development roles at Los Angeles Parks Foundation, Western
Center for Law and Poverty, and Weingart Center Association,
professional experiences grounded in social justice focusing on
equitable green space, legal and policy advocacy, and homeless services.
Aurora is a Cohort member of the National Committee for Responsive
Philanthropy and a volunteer for StepUp Los Angeles Chapter. Aurora
graduated with a BA in Marketing and a minor in International Business
from the University of Central Florida.

Kahlil Cummings, Director

A native of Los Angeles, Kahlil Cummings is an acclaimed drummer,
performer, composer, and educator. He is most profoundly influenced by
West African master drummer Mamady Keita, with whom he has studied since
the age of 13. Kahlil helped start the group Balandugu Kan, which was
sanctioned by Keita as representing “the voice of Balandugu”— the
village where Keita was born. In 2011 Kahlil was a grantee of a program
by DCA (Department of Cultural Affairs) which lead him to record the
album Iniké Baba, recorded live in Guinea, West Africa. Kahlil was the
musical director for opening numbers for both the NAACP Image Awards and
the Choreographers Awards in 2004. He recently performed with Pharrell
Williams and Kendrick Lamar in the 2015 and 2016 Grammy Awards,
respectively. Since 2012 Kahlil has been a lead instructor and program
curator for the non-profit Rhythm Arts Alliance, and has built programs
in underserved communities and juvenile halls across LA county. Kahlil
founded Extra Ancestral in 2017, an ensemble aiming to educate audiences
through fusions of hypnotic Afrobeat, Reggae, Jazz, Afro-Latin, and
traditional rhythms of the African Diaspora, narrated by powerful
ancestral dancing.

Vicky Curry, Co-Chair

Vicki is Vice President, Community Affairs Officer at FOX Corporation.
She recently served seven years in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office as the
City’s Chief Public Information Officer under Mayor Eric Garcetti and
Acting Deputy Mayor of Communications for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Previously, she spent 14 years as an award-winning reporter and producer
for KCET-TV, the PBS station for Southern & Central California.

Juliet Flores-Johnson

Juliet joined The California Endowment in August 2017 as Program Manager
for South Los Angeles. Prior to this, she served as the lead project
manager for the Annenberg Foundation’s Programs Department, where she
played a central role in managing its capacity building initiative and
advancing its responsive community grantmaking priorities. Juliet worked
toward the development of healthy communities as South Los Angeles
Representative for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Neighborhood
and Community Services. In this role, she worked to enhance the quality
of life for residents by promoting civic engagement and ensuring the
Mayor’s initiatives were aligned with the community’s needs. Juliet
earned her Masters of Public Administration at Baruch College as a
National Urban Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the
University of California, Riverside and is an alumnus of Claremont
Graduate University’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.

Deisy Gutierrez, Director

Deisy Gutierrez is an immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico. As a single mother
of 3, she grew passionate about empowering other women and has been
leading change in her community for over 7 years. In 2016, she was
nominated by parent groups she worked with and was granted the SHE HERO
AWARD by City of Los Angeles Councilmember, Curren Price of District 9.
Deisy’s devotion to being a lifelong learner has lead her to obtain
certifications such as Intuitive Anatomy Theta Healing Instructor,
Domestic Violence Counselor, and graduate from the “Taller de Vida”
Leadership Academy. She’s a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist at
Koreatown Youth and Community Center. She has also joined the fight for
immigrant rights, as a DACA recipient herself, she has recently traveled
with CHIRLA to DC where she was in the Supreme Court for the DACA
hearing on November 12.

Lenny Moon, Treasurer

Lenny is the CFO of Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG), a private equity
backed holding company of several companies in the aftermarket
motorcycle parts industry. Prior to this role, Lenny was the CFO of
Muzik Inc., a disruptive hardware/software platform. Prior to Muzik,
Lenny served as CFO/COO of Fuller, where he led the financial and
operational turnaround of the institution. Prior, he was CFO of Payoff,
a high-growth FinTech company, and worked on Wall Street for several
years as an M&A investment banker in both New York and Los Angeles at
Bear, Stearns & Co. and Lazard Freres & Co. In both 2014 and 2015, he
was nominated as a finalist for the CFO of the Year Award by the Orange
County Business Journal. In 2017, he was a finalist for the CFO of the
Year Award by the LA Business Journal. Lenny received his MBA from
Columbia Business School and his BS from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign.

Michael Moray

Michael, a native Angeleno, is the managing member of RMR Properties, a
real estate firm specializing in the ownership and management of
commercial and residential property throughout Southern California.
Michael’s love of music started at an early age. In junior high school,
he began his career as the lead guitarist in several local bands
followed by a stint as a DJ. A patron of the arts, Michael is a longtime
supporter of Center Dance Arts, UCLA Performing Arts, American Ballet
Theater and The Los Angeles Kennedy Museum of Art. Michael and his wife
live in Beverly Hills with his extensive record, guitar and Laker jersey
collections. They have three grown children involved in fashion, real
estate and dance.

Joey Newman, Director

Joey Newman is an Emmy-nominated, third generation film and television
composer of the famed Hollywood musical Newman dynasty. Joey has
composed the music to award-winning feature films, numerous television
series, video games and provided arrangements for recording artists like
Rufus Wainwright and Broadway composers Marcy & Zina and Cinco Paul.

Katie Smith, Co-Chair

Katie is the Director of Communications for the Advancement Project.
They led the planning, creative and development of RACECOUNTS.org, and
oversaw the team working on media relations and social media. Their team
landed coverage in The New York Times, The Atlantic magazines’ City Lab,
KPCC, KPBS, Sacramento Bee and more. They also led the strategic
communications for the Equity Alliance for LA’s Kids that successfully
advocated for the unanimous adoption of the Equity is Justice 2.0
resolution by the LA Unified School District Board of Education. Prior,
Katie was the Director of Digital Communications at ACLU National,
during which their team won a 2013 Gold Pollie for their Edie Windsor
SCOTUS campaign to end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). They have
also worked with the USA for UNHR, Calvert Foundation, Liberty Hill
Foundation, NARAL, Common Sense Media, The California Endowment and the
City of Los Angeles Vision Zero campaign.

Cynthia Sanchez, Director

Cynthia Sanchez is a bilingual music attorney and Executive Director of
social justice nonprofits. She has worked previously as an executive at
Sony Pictures Entertainment (Music Affairs Group), Warner Music Group,
Univision Communications, Inc. and Univision Music Group, along with
legal positions at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and
Mexico’s Ministry of Education/Culture in Mexico City, Mexico. She has
served as an Ambassador for the United Nations’ Association, as a Legal
Commissioner for the International Music Council (UNESCO NGO partner),
as Vice President of the Executive Board of the California Lawyers for
the Arts, and as a Vice President of the Hispanic Cultural Society at
the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Cesar Tinoco, Director

Cesar Tinoco thrives in the spaces where community, cultura, familia,
music and art, and social justice intersect. Shaped by his upbringing on
LA’s eastside, Cesar’s work centers the experiences of folks from
Chicanx/Latinx, People of Color, and Queer & Trans communities. He has
over a decade of working alongside youth in the fight for racial and
social justice and previously worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center
empowering youth to advocate for their well-being and express themselves
creatively. Participating as a member of various coalitions including
the Levitt LA’s Community Advisory Council and having worked with local
musicians Chicano Batman, Dorian Wood, and Irene Diaz, Cesar strives to
create opportunities where students, families, and community members can
learn, connect, and build consciousness through music. With his love of
playing guitar, Cesar pursued a Bachelor of Music in Production and
Engineering at Los Angeles College of Music and currently works to
remove barriers to music education through the Young Musicians
Foundation.

Ric Whitney

Ric is a seasoned media executive whose experience has placed him at the
forefront of media and entertainment’s digital growth. He has served in
several capacities across media, entertainment and technology companies
firmly planted in the Hollywood (LA), Silicon Valley (Bay Area), and
Madison Avenue (NYC) trifecta. Ric currently owns and operates two media
and entertainment entities – Curation (talent & business management) and
Sound Sculpture (music publishing & distribution). Ric completed
graduate studies at the University of Southern California (USC) and
undergrad at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). Originally
from Memphis, Tennessee, Ric has resided in Los Angeles, California
since 2002. Nicknamed “Ricky Media” by friends and colleagues, Ric is a
loyal sports fan, music, television and film lover, news and pop culture
junkie, and passionate contemporary art collector.

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